Does a whole in the oil pan mean I threw a rod or could I be lucky and just replace the pan?

Tiny
STEVEWILLARD41@YAHOO.COM
  • 1989 MERCEDES BENZ 300SE
  • 181,000 MILES

I dont understand I never saw a light come on, the engine sounded ok. I go to the gas station the next day which is next door to my house, and the car sounded rough. Luckily I didnt drive far. The car was running great.I put oil in then see it run out on the ground. Then I see the hole in the pan.I cant afford a car repair at the moment.I thought maybe a temp fix on the pan to see how engine sounds before dealing with a pan repair that may be pointless. If the motor is damaged I might as well get rid of it and start over.

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Monday, February 27th, 2012 AT 8:09 PM

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Tiny
RASMATAZ
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You need to open it up and investigate what punctured the oil pan-You sure you didn't hit anything

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Monday, February 27th, 2012 AT 8:59 PM
Tiny
STEVEWILLARD41@YAHOO.COM
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Well I dont know im praying there is no motor damage. Since I never noticed it running rough or overheating im hoping the motor is ok. Guess ill have to pull the oil pan and have a look.

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Monday, February 27th, 2012 AT 9:08 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
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If it's dented from the outside, you may have a chance but if it dented from the inside, it's toast.

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Monday, February 27th, 2012 AT 9:16 PM
Tiny
STEVEWILLARD41@YAHOO.COM
  • MEMBER

Right thats what I figured. Looks like it was ppoked from the outside but a friend said that the rod could punch the whole out then punch it back in again so I dont know. Guess its all speculation till I look at is. Just had a tranny issuse that cleared itself up somehow. Now this. So pissed cant get a break.

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Monday, February 27th, 2012 AT 9:19 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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To get you by for a temporary fix, if indeed something did hit the pan from the outside, you can make a patch with silicone RTV gasket sealer. I use Chrysler's gray stuff only because I'm familiar with it. They have black stuff that stays more rubbery but it will not bond and seal if there's any hint of oil residue. The gray stuff gets a little harder but it will bond through a little oil residue. You still want to clean the surface as much as possible and sand it lightly. I know all other dealers have the same chemicals but I don't know which one to ask for. That's why I mentioned the Chrysler product.

You should consider this a temporary repair that no professional would do, ... However, ... My Ma hit a piece of steel laying in the road with my '88 Grand Caravan and tore off the rear heater hoses and punched a 3" by 2" hole in the front of the gas tank up above the rear axle. I nursed it home 7 miles with no coolant and the little gas still in the tank. At one stop to let it cool down, I sanded around the hole, then built up the sealer until the hole was covered. Never smelled gas after that. Later I saw how vulnerable that patch was so I put a piece of thin sheet metal over it, then another coating of sealer to keep the sheet metal from rusting away. That was in 1990. The patch is still on there today and holding fine.

Also had a student chasing engine oil leaks a few years ago. Each time he fixed one, the spot on the ground got bigger. Turned out the main cause was a tiny hole rusted through a high spot on the oil pan. Being convinced at the time the van wouldn't last much longer, I just sanded the rust and plugged the hole with that gray sealer, hoping it would last a little while. That was about 6 years ago and that patch is also still holding too.

Remember, no professional mechanic is going to repair your car this way, but if it allows you to drive the car temporarily, that will give you some time to find a replacement oil pan.

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Monday, February 27th, 2012 AT 11:46 PM
Tiny
STEVEWILLARD41@YAHOO.COM
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Yeah im going to pull the pan tomorrow see if it tells me anything I guess.I hate to plug the hole, put oil in, and have a piece of metal in the pan and end up in the motor. Any tips on what to look for?

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Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 AT 12:01 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
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I would never try to patch an oil pan. It's just way too important.

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Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 AT 12:08 AM
Tiny
STEVEWILLARD41@YAHOO.COM
  • MEMBER

Yeah I hate to patch it and have something happen. If anyone has info on whats involved pulling the pan I would really appreciate it.

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Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 AT 12:11 AM
Tiny
CADIEMAN
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The only way possible would be brasing the pan. Use a brasing rod and a torch to seal it. Take the oil out first.

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Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 AT 12:43 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
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I believe we have an aluminum pan here. Brazing will not be an option.

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Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 AT 12:47 AM
Tiny
STEVEWILLARD41@YAHOO.COM
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Ok thanks

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Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 AT 12:48 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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I knew I shouldn't have posted that even for a temporary fix to avoid needing a tow truck because even with all the disclaimers in the world, someone is going to consider that a legitimate repair. Oh well. Still kind of beats walking.

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Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 AT 2:09 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
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I'd rather fix an oil leak than a blown motor.

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Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 AT 2:11 AM
Tiny
CADIEMAN
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If its a rod u would have had a hole in the block most likely.

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Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 AT 4:22 PM
Tiny
STEVEWILLARD41@YAHOO.COM
  • MEMBER

Ok guys thanks for all the imput. I used a JB weld kit to fix the hole for now. I put oil in and the good news is it doesnt seem to be a blown motor. It is running a little louder then usual. I put in 5 quarts of oil so I need to add one more. Im wondering if this should smooth itself out or is there something I can add to the oil that I already have to help it smooth it out since it probably ran a little bit with barely any oil?

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Thursday, March 1st, 2012 AT 7:34 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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Any damage to the bearings or cylinder walls is already done and chemicals won't fix that. You would be surprised at how resilient some engines can be when they're run low on oil. That doesn't mean empty. Be aware that if your engine holds six quarts, nothing will show on the dipstick when you still have perhaps two to four quarts in the engine. A hole in the pan takes a lot longer to allow oil to run out compared to it being pumped out through a leak in the pressurized system. Even when you completely drain the oil, there is still one or two quarts in the passages. One common older V-8 engine took five quarts for an oil change but it took seven quarts to fill a newly rebuilt one with empty passages.

If you're hearing sounds louder than normal coming from in front of the engine, you may have bearing wear already. That will get worse real soon. If you hit something, perhaps it also hit the exhaust system and knocked a connection loose. You'll hear that inside the car and outside underneath. You might consider an inspection or at least have a mechanic listen to the noise to get an opinion of what's causing it.

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Thursday, March 1st, 2012 AT 9:39 PM
Tiny
STEVEWILLARD41@YAHOO.COM
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Well that sounds reasonable. I appreciate the help. Ill have to get it looked to get an opinion as you said. Would be nice if it was the exhaust.

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Thursday, March 1st, 2012 AT 10:21 PM
Tiny
STEVEWILLARD41@YAHOO.COM
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Guys what guys I think I got lucky. I put in oil and it was noisy at first but after running a bit and driving around the block it seems to run just as quiet as it did before. But I dont trust the JB weld. Now I need to get another oil pan. Thanks for everyones help :)

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Thursday, March 1st, 2012 AT 10:48 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
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That is exactly what you need to do now.

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Thursday, March 1st, 2012 AT 11:18 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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Happy to hear the good news. Here's a few more comments on that patch. Where I used silicone gasket sealer on my gas tank there is no real pressure but I was afraid to fill the tank for a year. It was supposed to be temporary so the van could be driven until I found a used tank. Eventually I quit looking and since then I've been on numerous cross-country trips and regularly stuff in every last ounce of gas I can squeeze in when I fill up. When I do think to look at it, that patch is as hard as a rock and shows no signs of leaking.

Engines are a little different in that they can develop a little pressure in the crankcase. That hasn't been a problem on my oil pan because the pinhole I patched was so small. I expected another hole to rust through but that hasn't happened in over five years. When it does, I'm going to order a new pan or find a rust-free one from down south. A new one will double the value of my van, just like when I fill it with gas!

JB Weld is much stronger than the silicone sealer I used, so while I wouldn't patch a customer's car that way, I wouldn't lose much sleep over it either. I always taught my students the "what if" principle. "What if that patch lets go?" Who's reputation is on the line? A new cast oil pan could be porous and seep oil, (that's very rare), but other than that, there isn't much that can go wrong with a new one. Still, if any new part is defective, I'd rather have to explain that than why my cobble-job failed.

As Julie S, my very knowledgeable and entertaining Chrysler trainer used to say, "We not only sell you new parts; we sell them to you pre-broken".

At the very least, I would search for a good used oil pan to have on hand if or when the patch starts to leak. If it does, it's not going to fall off on the road. It will start with small spots on the ground where you park. I'm always checking under my van when I walk up to it, and so far it's always been the guy there ahead of me who left the puddle, ... So far.

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Thursday, March 1st, 2012 AT 11:20 PM

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